OpenAI’s ChatGPT’s AI chatbot is so good, too many people are using it, crushing its servers. So the company is debuting a paid ChatGPT Plus service, which will launch in the coming weeks.
ChatGPT will cost $20 per month, but don’t despair. OpenAI says that it still plans to offer a free version of ChatGPT as well.
If you’ve used ChatGPT before, you know how crazy powerful the chatbot can be. ChatGPT can write code, poetry, and short stories alike, and construct philosophical as well as logical arguments. It’s so powerful, in fact, that students have begun using it for their assignments, prompting a debate about whether it should be considered an assistive tool, like a calculator, or an actual cheat. (A tool OpenAI developed to identify AI-generated text has some problems.)
The problem is that all of the demand for ChatGPT has made it increasingly difficult to access. The site frequently generates error messages reporting that the site is too congested to use. Even when ChatGPT is accessible, it can be slow to respond or generate responses. OpenAI said in a blog post that ChatGPT Plus will feature general access to ChatGPT, even during peak times, as well as faster response times. OpenAI said that it will use the paid access to test out new services, too.
Not surprisingly, ChatGPT users have helped train the AI further.
“We launched ChatGPT as a research preview so we could learn more about the system’s strengths and weaknesses and gather user feedback to help us improve upon its limitations. Since then, millions of people have given us feedback, we’ve made several important updates and we’ve seen users find value across a range of professional use-cases, including drafting & editing content, brainstorming ideas, programming help, and learning new topics.
“We love our free users and will continue to offer free access to ChatGPT,” OpenAI added.
If you want to sign up for ChatGPT Plus, you’ll (somewhat ironically) need to sign up for a waitlist — which, for now, is just a Google Form that you can “apply” to by listing where you’re located, what you’re using ChatGPT for, and so on. OpenAI hasn’t said when it will turn ChatGPT Plus on, though, or how many users it will let in.